Generic Drug Companies in Brazil, India Face Obstacles in Antiretroviral Production Under WTO Agreement
September 26, 2003
Brazilian generic pharmaceutical company Laboratorio Cristalia and other generic drug makers in Brazil and India could "face potential political, bureaucratic and financial obstacles that could prevent them from selling a single dose of a lifesaving AIDS medication" under the recent World Trade Organization agreement, the AP/Kansas City Star reports (Clendenning, AP/Kansas City Star, 9/26). The WTO last month reached an agreement on the importation of generic versions of patented drugs. The agreement allows countries to issue a compulsory license in order to import generic drugs if the country confirms that it cannot domestically manufacture the drugs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 9/9). The importing country must notify WTO, and the foreign drug maker must then obtain an export license from its government. Some experts say that the countries needing the drugs first will have to negotiate with patent-holding drug companies for lower prices, potentially using the threat of deals with foreign generic drug makers as "bargaining leverage," the AP/Star reports. Yusuf Hamied, chair of Cipla, an Indian generic drug manufacturer, said that the WTO agreement has "not simplified things, it's been complicated and only the large companies benefit." He added, "Who wants this red tape? We need predictability for supply. We don't want the headaches and the litigation."
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.